• Movie Towns and Sitcom Suburbs
  • Seeing Seaside
  • Job Opportunities in the Virtual City: Planners and SimCity
  • Walt Disney, Urban Designer
  • The Victorian Planning History Collection
  • 50 years of Ugliness
  • The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects

Featured (Urban Planning)

The following collects together some of the more significant articles on urban planning, many of them originally written for Planning News. You can see all articles on urban planning using the category filter at the right of post pages (or this link), and all the articles touching on the links between urban planning and film using this link.

Walt Disney, Urban Designer
Walt Disney, Urban Planner
A pair of related essays looking at Walt Disney’s contribution to the built environment. The first looks at his knack for urban design, while the second looks at his ambitions as an urban planner.

Seeing Seaside
My thoughts on the New Urbanist town of Seaside, based on a visit in 2010. It looks at my own preconceptions about the town and what I think it has to teach planners.

Fifty Years of Ugliness
A look at Robin Boyd’s classic book, considering the ways in which its still relevant, and the ways in which we’ve found new and better ways to uglify our cities.

The Classic Hollywood Town at the Dawn of Suburbia
An extended essay looking at the depictions of small town life in Hollywood movies of the 1940s and outlining some of the features that distinguish our idealised communities from those that were actually constructed in the great suburban boom from the 1950s onwards.

Job Opportunities in the Virtual City: Planners and SimCity
An exploration of the city builder games such as SimCity, looking in particular at what they might teach budding planners.

Planning in Victoria

This is a selection of some of my main pieces on Victorian planning. A more complete list can be found by browsing this tag.

The Victorian Planning History Collection
Not an article, but a page for the digital library of Victorian planning documents that I have assembled.

The Wrong Idea not Implemented Properly
My comments upon the proposed “VicSmart” reforms.

Begging for Reason
My submission to what is surely the most slipshod planning review in recent Victorian history: the proposed new zones.

Fixing the Victorian Planning System: Six Key Issues
My submission to the Underwood review, which became a brief survey of the key problems with the Victorian planning system (and which effectively rounded out what I had written in my Act Review submission, immediately below.)

Fixing the Planning & Environment Act
A discussion of the key issues raised by the Modernising Victoria’s Planning Act review.

Building a Better System
A mega-article collating various different ideas for improvement in the Victorian planning system.

Sham Sandwich
A look at the Windsor Hotel debacle that tries to draw some wider lessons from it.

The Harshest Lesson
Reflections on the findings of the bushfire Royal Commission.

Querying why VPP reform must wait for the completion of a review of the Planning & Environment Act, after extraordinary comments the Planning Minister made in his interview with Planning News.

Climate Change, Sustainability, and … (falls asleep)
Have we allowed sustainability to become a boring topic?

The Lawyer’s Tribunal
Thoughts on the operation of VCAT.

The New Naivety
A discussion of transport planning and infrastructure defeatism.

Meeting Half-Way: A Collaborative Approach to Permit Assessments
My completely un-heeded call for a more co-operative approach to assessing planning permits.

Driving with the Handbrake On
A discussion of some of the fundamental structural problems in Victorian planning, and their solutions.

Second Thoughts on Secondary Consent
A look at a fairly technical issue: if you don’t plan in Victoria, you don’t need to read this!

Clause 101

Clause 101 was a humour column written by myself and Tim Westcott. The following are the articles that I wrote for it.

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